OK, so times are hard and, for many, still getting worse. Both sides of the political spectrum continually bicker over whether the on-going crisis was: a) caused by a lack of regulation (too little government) or b) by too much regulation (too much government). As is appropriate, hard times tend to prompt such discussions, even if characterized by rather dramatic finger-pointing.
The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully. – Samuel Johnson
Of course, both sides are partly right.
On the one hand, the wizards at the Fed, along with their bankster cronies have indeed run roughshod over an economy that, for reasons that I simply cannot fathom, they were given penultimate control over. The term “license to steal” does sort of come to mind.
On the other hand, the Big Government Machine (the one that is presumed to have the authority to reign in such abuses) has merely played slap and tickle with all their various “constituencies”…or at least those with either enough money or votes or money to buy votes to keep them in power. Aside from their blatant pandering (in which they excel), they seem particularly adept (as someone once put it) at “handing out crutches after they break your legs“.
And, what a pickle this has become. The average man is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. We are compelled, more often than not, to mount our highly regulated little hamster wheels in exchange for a currency that is created as debt (and typically out of thin air) by a cartel of thieves who’ve cozied up to (and paid off) those we’ve ostensibly hired to keep this game honest.
Most of us are appeased, however, mostly through distraction – if not outright weariness – and the now apparent belief that someone else can and should pay for whatever it is that we think we lack. And, for the moment at least, we seem to lack very little.
The distractions are so obvious and numerous they hardly require commentary. But, let’s simply say that when a society’s average welfare recipient can afford to be filled to waddling contentment with cheap-GMO-carbs and entertained with cable TV and smart phones, the term “bread and circuses” may well apply.
As for “weariness”, well, that only applies to those of us who are still actually working for a living. Others, such as one “disabled” acquaintance of ours, for instance, tells us he’s planning to take a month-long “vacation” on his sailboat…this, after we’ve paid for his college degree, his laptop, his daily sustenance, and – of course – his mood-altering medications.
But, here’s the nub of it: the constant cries for spreading the wealth around is simply embarrassing. I’m not against helping a fellow human when they’re down and out. Truly. And I do try to be as charitable as possible with what little surplus I’m able to earn each month. But, this belief that the burden of “charity” that is forcibly imposed on me (and anyone else who still works for a living) can be forever increased is as delusional as it is shameful.
I cite as one example this recent New York Times article that asks, “What’s A Socialist?” and proceeds to educate us with this little bit of prideful boasting:
“And what does it mean to be a Socialist these days, anyway? Not very much. Certainly nothing radical. In a sense, socialism was an ideology of the industrialized 19th century, a democratic Marxism, and it succeeded, even in (shh!) the United States. Socialism meant the emancipation of the working class and its transformation into the middle class; it championed social justice and a progressive tax system, and in that sense has largely done its job.“
Oh, hurray!!! But, yes, it has. We’ve gone and created a leviathan welfare state that is but yards away from achieving it’s two inevitable goals: both financial and cultural bankruptcy.
As for financial bankruptcy, we need only look to Europe at the end-game. Here in the US, as we’ve been wont to illuminate here at ARL, we’ve already passed the point-of-no-return. Our collective indebtedness is growing now with a doubling time of only seven years or so and, thus far, has only delayed the inevitable collapse through the typical ruse of the printing press. There’s but little hope for “new revenue”, after all, with our socialist leaders now only picking at the rotting carcass of our once legendary productivity.
Unintentionally, the NY Times notes, “As the industrialized working class gets smaller and smaller, socialism seems to have less and less to say.” Indeed, its work is, by all appearances, now done. Can we now even imagine the promise of fostering an actual “industrial working class”….the sort that actually makes things that the world wants and needs badly enough for our society to prosper?
But, we’ve been subsisting now for roughly four decades on our “seed corn”. Whatever conditions might have enriched us enough to build “the brand” of America, we now specialize in the export of cheaply produced dollars (and it’s inflation), arcane financial instruments, intrusive technological gimmickry, and the highly stylized (and rather prescient) marketing of the sort of urban-chique accoutrements that seem well suited to a post-apocalyptic-prison-friendly culture. (But one relevant example here.)
We should be ashamed. But, for the most part, we are not. Rather, many (including the NY Times) seem quite proud.
The welfare state is (and has always been) a sign of societal failure, not of success. If we choose to crow over this sort of accomplishment, we might just as soon be satisfied with pimping our own children so we can sit at home and play more video games. Oh, wait….